It seems Digital has taken the old expression "what they don't know won't hurt them" to heart. Paul O'Connor, Digital's director of products and channels, was recently quoted in ARN (see December 3, page 1) as saying the vendor had laid off 60 full-time staff. This was correct in the sense that they were on the payroll.

However, an ARN fly-on-the-wall has learned that at least another 60 contractors were also given the heave-ho at about the same time. Digital New Zealand is also expected to cop the knife.

Which is fair enough - Digital is heavily restructuring.

Stay tuned for an announcement on the vendor's Singapore manufacturing plant and an expression of interest from a would-be solutions provider.

Attention all Microsoft BackOffice for Small Business resellers and distributors! ARN has discovered a major flaw in Microsoft's sales strategy for the product.

Back in October, ARN (see October 8, page 53) reported that a five-user copy of Back Office Small Business Server plus Office would be available for $2969 RRP.

The natives, however, are restless. Some end users have questioned whether in fact a five-user copy of BackOffice for Small Business plus Office can be bought for the price originally quoted.

The reality is that all BackOffice Small Business Server users require an Office 97 licence, which they don't get under the current sales strategy.

Microsoft, of course, said it knew all about the problem and has changed its mind. Now, Small Business Edition will be bundled with a five-user licence of Office Professional 97. No pricing has been set.

3Com Australia has found a chief for its new enterprise systems division. All enquiries should now be forwarded to Gerhard Rumpff, former Lotus managing director, and most recently IBM general manager, software and networking.

Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 4.01, much to the delight of Compaq Presario users and a host of other users fed up with IE 4.0 security flaws.

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